Brothers, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


From the acclaimed -- and controversial -- Chinese novelist, Brothers is a big-spirited comedy of society running amok in modern China.

When Baldy Li's mother marries Song Gang's father their lives become entangled.

Then when both their parents die, Song Gang swears never to forsake his younger brother.

In the event, though, both are undone by their love for one woman.

Sprawling, rambunctious, energetic and brutal, Brothers is a dizzying rollercoaster ride through life in a newly capitalist world. 'Yu Hua has long been considered one of China's most important novelists' Nell Freudenberger 'This is modern China coming to terms with itself in a mixture of gore, laughter and self-mockery' Independent 'Brothers gives us contemporary China with a picaresque panache that Western critics have been quick to call Rabelaisian, but which is actually Chinese all the way' Financial Times 'Yu Hua effortlessly moves from the grotesque to the tragic and from the ironic to the dramatic ...There is Hemingway in Yu Hua, certainly, but also Stendhal' Le Monde




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A rip-roaring behemoth of a book, I am sure it will become a classic in due course. The language and violence are startlingly in your face, but, having been learning Mandarin for some time now, I think the translation is excellent. This is not a book for the squeamish or the prudish, but if you can stomach it, this book will tell you more about what life has been like for the Chinese people than any number of erudite tomes by Western commentators. Yu Hua's depiction of the Cultural Revolution as seen through the eyes of two small boys is incredibly illuminating. Don't get me wrong, this is not a serious analysis of Chinese post-war politics. I laughed aloud so many times, and was really engrossed in the story of the brothers and the motley crew of characters that surround them. Highly recommended, one of my books of the year.

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